Brewers routed 8-1 by Diamondbacks in Game 3
Now the comeback-king Arizona Diamondbacks have one.
Paul Goldschmidt hit a grand slam off Shaun Marcum following an intentional walk and fellow rookie Josh Collmenter dominated Milwaukee again, helping the Diamondbacks beat the Brewers 8-1 Tuesday night to prevent a three-game NL division series sweep.
"It was pretty cool," Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder said of the success by Arizona's kids.
Seemingly in command after winning the first two games at home, Milwaukee was outhit and outpitched in Game 3, giving life to a team that had a major league-best 48 comeback wins during the regular season.
The Brewers struggled against Collmenter for the third straight game and managed just three hits overall while getting little production from the power pair of Fielder and Ryan Braun. A key intentional walk was followed by Goldschmidt's slam, just the third by a rookie in postseason history.
Instead of clinching their first playoff series win since the 1982 run to the World Series, the Brewers will send out Randy Wolf to face fellow lefty Joe Saunders for Game 4 Wednesday night in what should be another rowdy atmosphere at Chase Field.
"The good thing about this team is we've always had short memories," said Wolf, 7-2 with a 3.43 ERA in nine career starts at Chase Field. "We've had bad games before and we get over it quickly."
At least they won't have long to stew after this ugly loss. And boy, was it was ugly.
After a strong start to the season, Marcum watched his late-year struggles follow him into the playoffs.
The right-hander who had been so good on the road — 8-3 with a 2.21 ERA in 16 games — was hit hard on a couple of pitches out of the strike zone early, then left one over the plate that Goldschmidt sent out for his fifth-inning slam.
Marcum allowed eight runs and six hits in 4 2-3 innings after ending the season 1-2 with a 6.84 ERA over his final four starts.
"I feel like I was locating all right," Marcum said. "Obviously, the grand slam wasn't located."
Fielder and Braun didn't help him much, finishing 1 for 6 after going a combined 9 for 16 with two homers, six RBIs and six runs in the first two games. The brawny Fielder had the only hit between them in the ninth, squibbing an infield single up the middle.
"I've seen it before," Fielder said of he and Braun struggling in the same game. "It's not that spectacular."
Collmenter was, though.
The hatchet-throwing right-hander had two impressive outings against Milwaukee during the regular season. He stretched his scoreless streak against the Brewers to 16 innings before they finally broke through on Corey Hart's leadoff homer in the third inning.
That was it for the Brewers against Collmenter, though.
He allowed just one other hit over seven innings, retiring 15 of his last 16 hitters while setting an Arizona rookie postseason record with six strikeouts.
"It's different," Fielder said of Collmenter's delivery. "He's got good movement on his changeup. He just didn't leave it over the middle. He just got us today."
Most of Milwaukee's problems, though, came on the mound as Arizona's bats snapped to life after a quiet start to the series.
Just 1 for 11 with runners in scoring position while losing the first two games, the Diamondbacks didn't waste any time sending runners around once they got home to the desert.
Miguel Montero, who finished with three RBIs, got it started with a run-scoring double in the first inning, and Goldschmidt followed with an RBI single. Montero made it 3-1 in the third with an RBI single.
Then came the shot Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke set up by doing something he hates: intentionally walking a batter.
That batter was Montero, a lefty who already had two hits off Marcum. Wanting the right-vs-right matchup, Roenicke decided to put him on to get to Goldschmidt.
Strolling up to chants of "Goldschmidt! Goldschmidt!" the rookie lifted a shot to right-center that cleared the wall by inches.
The first grand slam in Diamondbacks postseason history put Arizona up 8-1 and sent the already excited crowd into a frenzy that lasted until Goldschmidt came out for a curtain call to mark his five-RBI game.
"You have an open base. Sometimes when you load them, it puts that pitcher in a position where if he gets behind the count he's in big trouble," Roenicke said. "I just thought today Montero looked pretty good against Shaun. And I thought it was the right move."
It didn't work, leaving the Brewers with another game in the desert instead of heading home to rest.